Definition of prosecute in English:



[with object]
  • 1Institute or conduct legal proceedings against (a person or organization)

    ‘they were prosecuted for obstructing the highway’
    no object ‘the company didn't prosecute because of his age’
    • ‘If these things had happened solely in the private sector, the members of the cartel would have been prosecuted under the Trade Practices Act.’
    • ‘The local government would then still have the ability to close and prosecute a sub-standard establishment, and control the location and number of such places in their area.’
    • ‘But he notes that medical cannabis growers around the state continue to be prosecuted by local, state, and federal authorities.’
    • ‘In theory drivers could also be prosecuted for carrying passengers who are not wearing a seatbelt, meaning that in a normal car more than three back-seat passengers would be an offence.’
    • ‘The penalty is hardly much of a deterrent and the few who are prosecuted generally continue to practise elsewhere.’
    • ‘Will the alleged perpetrator be prosecuted to the full extent of the law?’
    • ‘She said several people were successfully prosecuted for breaches.’
    • ‘The authority has pledged to prosecute anyone responsible.’
    • ‘Alan Fairhurst, prosecuting, said trading standards officers carried out authenticity tests on drinks purchased in the pub.’
    • ‘We will investigate crime and narrow the justice gap so more offenders are successfully prosecuted.’
    • ‘Offenders of intellectual property violations will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.’
    • ‘Since 2001 Swindon Trading Standards officers have prosecuted 10 businesses, which resulted in £40,000 fines.’
    • ‘I wonder if those of us prosecuted for refusing to carry one will be offered trial by jury?’
    • ‘Not one worker or trade union has been prosecuted.’
    • ‘It is an issue which we take very seriously, and we will continue to prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law.’
    • ‘When caught, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’
    • ‘In fact she could be prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act.’
    • ‘They will be prosecuted under section 87 and 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.’
    • ‘Can he or she be criminally prosecuted for cruelty to animals?’
    • ‘There was also a nationwide increase in the number of people prosecuted for animal cruelty.’
    1. 1.1 Institute legal proceedings in respect of (a claim or offence)
      ‘the state's attorney's office seemed to decide that this was a case worth prosecuting’
      • ‘There were complaints that the Supreme Cassation Prosecution led by the Chief Prosecutor failed to vigorously prosecute serious criminal cases.’
      • ‘Petty property crime, by far the most commonly prosecuted offence from the eighteenth century onwards, has also been perpetrated in the main by young men.’
      • ‘Would you say this case was prosecuted vigorously, and if so, why?’
      • ‘Defamation continued to be prosecuted in the church courts over the course of the sixteenth century, and the volume of cases increased rather dramatically.’
      • ‘So what are we seeing the police prosecuting in the courts?’
      • ‘Both Plaintiffs lacked any capacity to prosecute this Claim.’
      • ‘To prevent a party who is entitled to some recovery from incurring costs prosecuting a claim for an excessive amount, a defendant may acknowledge liability for an amount less than that claimed.’
      • ‘The Law Reform Commission recommended that the offences be prosecuted summarily.’
      • ‘Does the world want to indict and prosecute crimes against humanity?’
      • ‘This is a case of an omission or omissions by the appellants as the respondent's solicitors: the failure to prosecute his claim with due diligence which led to his counterclaim being struck out.’
      • ‘The claimant concedes that in the ordinary way a company cannot recover by way of costs any payment for the time of its employees engaged in investigating or prosecuting its claim.’
      • ‘As a matter of law and as a matter of discretion, I think that justice requires the claimant, if it wishes further to prosecute its new claims, to do so in a fresh action.’
      • ‘If, for example, the plaintiff has been guilty of unreasonable delay in prosecuting his claim, the court may decline to award interest for the full period from the date of loss.’
      • ‘North Yorkshire's trading standards have already prosecuted in four cases, which resulted in fines for breaching regulations.’
      • ‘The Judge hearing any such application will be in a better position than I am to take stock of the Claimant and her prospects of actually prosecuting this claim before the court.’
      • ‘The U.S. attorney prosecuting that case has indicated that she may seek the death penalty.’
      • ‘He pledged to carry on pursuing and prosecuting persistent noise nuisances.’
      • ‘Universal jurisdiction entitles a state to prosecute an offence even in the absence of any connection based on nationality, territory, or the protective principle.’
      • ‘As to the procedural merits, persons wishing to engage the jurisdiction of the Court must prosecute their claims with due diligence and speed.’
      • ‘The result is, that it may be some time before courts are in a position to prosecute these offences and they make take a long time for the police to complete investigations.’
      take to court, bring legal proceedings against, institute legal proceedings against, bring an action against, take legal action against, accuse, cite, summons, sue, try, bring to trial, put on trial, put in the dock, bring a charge against, bring a criminal charge against, charge, prefer charges against, bring a suit against, indict, arraign
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  • 2Continue with (a course of action) with a view to its completion.

    ‘a serious threat to the government's ability to prosecute the war’
    • ‘Eighty-eight men died prosecuting his war and he didn't know the number.’
    • ‘They want us all to do the convenient thing and quietly forget that those weapons were the primary apparent motive for prosecuting the war.’
    • ‘Even so, it continues to prosecute its own campaign against police methodology.’
    • ‘We need them to convince us that they have a firm, agreed and coherent strategy for continuing to prosecute the odyssey upon which they have embarked.’
    • ‘Those prosecuting the war, in the name of freedom, must keep that cause before them at all times.’
    • ‘Certainly, there was a recognition that we'd need to rebuild stuff that we broke in the course of prosecuting the war.’
    • ‘And this war is being prosecuted with one different economic variable.’
    • ‘And I like the idea that because we had intelligence failings, we shouldn't have prosecuted the war.’
    • ‘And the administration says, this is the reason it continues to prosecute the war and continues to try to pour more resources into intelligence.’
    • ‘Or does he believe that a bold enough feint will allow him to continue to prosecute this war with his original plan?’
    • ‘If they had wanted to punish those who had prosecuted the war, that was their chance.’
    • ‘But also bear in mind another important lesson of history - unpopular or barely popular wars can still be prosecuted successfully.’
    • ‘From the media, governments want fair, consistent, non-exploitive treatment that appreciates the complexity of prosecuting a modern war.’
    • ‘And he is not - Roosevelt could prosecute that war and obviously did it effectively.’
    • ‘For more than a year, he bravely stood against popular opinion and in favor of prosecuting the war.’
    • ‘Revenues from oil exports, which began in August 1999, bolster its ability to prosecute the war and even develop its own arms industry.’
    • ‘We were also fearful that the governments prosecuting this war would not be doing an official count themselves.’
    • ‘Churchill, early in the war, sent a memo to his top commanders asking them to deliver to him that same afternoon, on one side of a standard sheet of paper, their plans for prosecuting the war in Europe.’
    carry out, accomplish, perform, implement, effect, bring off, bring about, achieve, carry off, carry through, complete, enact, enforce, put into effect, put into practice, do, discharge, engineer, administer, attain, realize, fulfil
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    1. 2.1archaic Carry on (a trade or pursuit)
      ‘I am waiting for permission to prosecute my craft’
      pursue, carry on, conduct, direct, engage in, work at, proceed with, continue, continue with, keep on with, go ahead with
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Late Middle English (in prosecute (sense 2)): from Latin prosecut- ‘pursued, accompanied’, from the verb prosequi, from pro- ‘onward’ + sequi ‘follow’.